Translation/Adaptation: William Flanagan
What They Say
Without realizing it, Kimihiro Watanuki has purchased a dream. According to his boss Yûko Ishikawa, the mysterious time-space witch, people usually buy good dreams–but Kimihiro’s dream is a man-eating nightmare. Even worse, it has come true! Then Kimihiro meets a wistful girl who, like him, can see the spirit world. Together they try to prevent a harmless ghost from being exorcised from its beloved resting place, an ancient cherry tree. The girl’s mother wants her to have nothing to do with Kimihiro, but the spirits say otherwise. . . .
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The main part of this volume deals with an aspect of human culture that makes me cringe; parents using their kids to make money. Whether it’s parents pushing their kids in sports or beauty pageants or acting, it’s to make money for the parents at the expense of the kid’s childhood. Of course, being a story about the occult means CLAMP examines this with a young girl ‘gifted’ with spiritual psychic abilities. The girl is forced to eat blessed food, avoid bodily contact with others, and conduct exorcisms on TV so her mother can buy all the expensive clothes and accessories she wants. This story is touching and ties into the overall xxxHolic story well enough to show just how good CLAMP’s writing can be.
This volume also continues to blaze new occult ground as Watanuki unknowingly ‘buys’ Himawari’s first dream of the year. Unfortunately, the dream is about a monster chasing her. Apparently, if you ‘buy’ another person’s dream it becomes true for you. Luckily, Domeki’s grandfather appears and saves Watanuki, which is cool because now he can see and talk to Domeki’s grandfather from time to time. Yuko explains dream buying to Watanuki before taking him to another world to meet a Dream Buyer. At this point, I’m a little annoyed with the lack of development for Himawari’s character.
However, in this other world Watanuki travels to CLAMP does another great job of linking more seemingly unrelated parts of this series as the Dream Buyer reveals he knows the fox from the oden cart introduced back in volume 3. Along these lines, the translator really earns his cup of ramen with the extensive Translator Notes section. Mr. Flanagan goes in depth to explain cultural aspects, Japanese phrases, a discussion on mahjong and its manga, and when certain characters appeared in various volumes of the xxxHolic series. This series continues to be one that I eagerly await every new volume, then again, I need more background Himawari.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen 16+
Released By: Del Rey Manga
Release Date: July 17th, 2007